Went to a wedding of a really great friend yesterday, who I first met when doing Faking It. My friend looked really beautiful, and it was noticeable how everyone responded to her. She is universally loved. I know the Groom less well, but he always seemed a really good guy too. It was a brilliant day, including a trip on a big red Routemaster, a moving ceremony and a brilliant speech by the Groom.
It reminded me why speeches and presentations are so important. He stood up and firstly thanked everyone for being there. Sincerely.
Then he thanked the people who had organised the day, the most important of whom was the Bride herself. It's strange how different 'thank you' sounds when it is so sincere.
Then he turned and spoke directly to his Mum, said how much he appreciated everything she had done for him, even though 'he must have been a nightmare' growing up. By now there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
Finally, and without artifice, he thanked his best man and talked about how much he enjoyed their friendship and ended it all with a hug.
There is nothing I can type which will communicate why it was a great speech. But it was simple, and clearly from the heart. He remained in control of his emotions, though the audience pretty much dissolved.
None of it was too much, none of it was too little. It was a shaft of light which illuminated the person my friend was marrying. It allowed everyone present to feel included in the day by making private feelings public. That sense of inclusion is what the audience responded to so powerfully. Presentation, like meaning, is about connection, and that's what made the speech great.